Sure, we make light of it, but getting screened really is important. It can save your life.
is the third most common cancer found in both men and women in the United States, causing an estimated 51,000 deaths each year. The good news: Each of us has the power to stop colon cancer before it even forms.
Why is it important to be screened for colon cancer?
Colon cancer often begins as a noncancerous growth. During a colonoscopy, the most common colon cancer screening method, your doctor can detect and remove these growths long before they have the opportunity to become cancerous. The death rate from colon cancer has been dropping during the past 15 years, mainly as a result of increased screening. However, encouraging patients to schedule routine colonoscopies can save even more lives.
What happens during a colonoscopy?
During a colonoscopy, a physician will visually exam the patient's colon using a colonoscope. Any polyps (abnormal growths in the lining of the colon) found during the procedure will be immediately removed, which prevents them from growing and developing into colon cancer.
Are colonoscopies uncomfortable?
People often put off scheduling a colonoscopy for fear of embarrassment or discomfort, but the entire procedure is completely private. The patient is mildly sedated and completely comfortable throughout the procedure. Preparation is also minimal and includes only two small doses of laxative the night before and morning of the procedure. This cleanses the colon to allow clearer visuals during the procedure.
What are the symptoms of colon polyps and colon cancer?
Polyps don't cause symptoms, but they do lead to cancer. Colon cancer
doesn't cause symptoms until it's advanced, so if people wait until they have symptoms to schedule a colonoscopy, the cancer is often advanced and much, much harder to control.
Who should get screened for colon cancer and at what age?
Many people who get colon cancer have no family history, so it's important for all men and women to have a colonoscopy to identify and remove precancerous polyps once every 10 years, beginning at age 50. Individuals who have a parent, sibling or child that has had colon cancer is at an increased risk and may need their first colonoscopy before age 50. Regular, more frequent testing is even more vital to this group.
Trust Prevea’s Digestive Health team
Prevea Health’s expert providers perform colonoscopies at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan. All three hospitals have state-of-the-art colonoscopy equipment, including high-definition, flat screen monitors that allow for the most thorough exam and polyp removal. All hospitals also offer private rooms and bathrooms for preparation and recovery.
Most insurance providers, including Medicare, cover colonoscopies. If you haven't had a colonoscopy within the past 10 years, please consider scheduling one today by calling Prevea Digestive Health at (920) 429-1700
in Green Bay or (920) 457-4400
in Sheboygan. Find a doctor near you!